Fear of iPhone chip shortage spurs Apple trip to Korea

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2019 iPhone
Apple does not want to run short on chips for its newest iPhones.
Photo: Marques Brownlee

Apple reportedly flew a team to Seoul as the tech giant sweats a trade dispute between South Korean and Japan that could lead to a shortage in iPhone chips and OLED panels.

The meeting with Samsung, the main supplier of memory chips for iPhone, also included executives from Google, Microsoft and Amazon. Those three companies contract with Samsung for memory chips used in data centers for cloud services.

WWII-era dispute could ensnarl release of 2019 iPhones

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iPhone 11 rumor from Olixar
Apple could feel the fallout from a dispute between Japan and South Korea.
Photo: Olixar

Another dispute between countries looms over Apple, but this one dates back to World War II and could cause the tech giant heartburn as it readies the lineup of 2019 iPhones.

Japan will tighten export restrictions on South Korea for materials used to make smartphone chips and displays beginning Thursday. Japan imposed the rule after a court in South Korea ordered Japan’s Nippon Steel to compensate South Koreans for wartime forced labor.